Kids of depressed moms more prone to behavioral problems and injury

Dec 04, 2007

Young children whose mothers are depressed are more prone to behavioural problems and injury, suggests US research published in Injury Prevention.

The researchers looked at the impact of maternal depression on children’s behaviour and injury rates among 1106 mother and child pairs between 1992 and 1994.

The mothers and their children were all taking part in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which has been tracking the health of young mothers and their children from birth since 1986.

In total, 94 children, all of whom were under the age of 6, had sustained injuries, sufficient to require medical attention during the study period. Two thirds of these injuries had happened at home.

Validated scales were used to assess problem behaviour among the children and depressive symptoms among the mothers.

Children whose mothers scored persistently high marks on the depression scales were more than twice as likely to have been injured as those whose mothers had a low rating.

And children whose mothers had a high rating were significantly more likely to have behavioural problems and to “act out.” Boys were more at risk of this than girls.

When analysed in more depth, the findings showed that for every 1 point increase on the depression score, the risk of injury rose by 4% and the risk of behavioural problems increased by 6%.

These findings held true after taking account of influential factors, such as household income, educational attainment and health insurance coverage.

The authors suggest that maternal depression may increase the risk of behavioural problems in the child, which may in turn boost the risk of injury.

Maternal depression might also result in less effective supervision of children or possibly an increased number of injury hazards found in the home, they add.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: Medical students who previously attended community college more likely to serve in poor communities

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drunk driving women treated differently than men

Sep 15, 2014

A study by Victoria University of Wellington's Health Services Research Centre explores attitudes and behaviours surrounding women and drink-driving, and the extent to which they have changed over the past decade.

Recommended for you

German Merck to buy St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich

Sep 22, 2014

German drug company Merck says it has agreed to buy St. Louis-based chemical firm Sigma-Aldrich Corp. for $17 billion in a deal Merck says will strengthen its business in chemicals and laboratory equipment.

The human race evolved to be fair for selfish reasons

Sep 19, 2014

"Make sure you play fairly," often say parents to their kids. In fact, children do not need encouragement to be fair, it is a unique feature of human social life, which emerges in childhood. When given the o ...

User comments : 0